INWO Deck: Heretic Magi


Since the Unlimited rules came out, the Adepts have been a very popular Illuminati to play, specifically for their special goal: Each magic resource controlled by the Adpets counts as one group toward the Basic Goal. Combine this with the ability to spend an Illuminati token each turn to control a resource, and the fact that you can combine their special goal with a goal card, and the extreme usefulness of many of the magic resources, and you have a very powerful opponent. Countering a resource-heavy magic Adepts deck is hard to do, especially when they start exposing and discarding your best plots, and make you pay for attacking them with the Ark of the Covenant and Soulburner.

Then I realized the best way to fight fire is with fire, and created this Anti-Adepts Adepts deck (hence the name: you represent the rival Adepts faction that seeks to destroy all other Adepts, instead of concentrating on taking over the world like normal Illuminati). It takes advantage of the Adepts's special power and the Library at Alexandria to take over your rival's magic groups, while he's bringing out resources... and when you kill him, all those resources are yours!

The Deck


Adepts of Hermes





First, this deck is designed to be anti-Adepts: if you play this deck and find no other Adepts player in the game, you'll have a harder time winning than if you just played a basic resource-takeover Adepts deck. The next several items assume you are fighting another Adepts deck.


Lead with Stonehenge. If your opponent has seen this deck before, he will lead with Stonehenge, too, which is why there are two of them in the deck. Protect Stonehenge at all costs, because while you have it, his resources don't affect you, and his magic groups can't attack you, which is extremely useful if all he has is magic groups! Get out your Holy Grail quickly, using a Crop Circles if necessary, to protect Stonehenge.


Get out The Library of Alexandria as early as possible: you now have a +11 to control magic groups from your hand, and a net +16 to take over your rival Adepts' magic groups! You should, early as possible, use an automatic takeover to control the Clone Arrangers and IRS. The Clone Arrangers are a powerful Secret group, and the IRS is also powerful, and lets you draw from your rival Adepts' deck, which is particularly useful since his plots are tailored to magic decks anyway. Be careful, though, if another player is playing a Violent Criminal or Gnomes deck, respectively. The other non-magic group, Comic Books, has two purposes. The first is, once it is out, you can take over WITCH and the Reformed Church of Satan cheaply, as well as any enemy group that you want to play a Jake Day on. The second is that Comic Books is a Media group, so if someone manages to destroy Stonehenge, you can use their action and the Media Blitz card to resurrect it.

Plot Strength

The plots are what make this deck strong. Save your Embezzlement for when the rival Adepts use Crop Circles or the Rosicrucians to select a special plot. Use An Offer You Can't Refuse after he ends his turn with a lot of plot cards, and puts the ones he intends to draw next on the top. Don't use The Weak Link + Cover of Darkness combo on your Adepts rival (unless, of course, he has The Library at Alexandria), since you'll be getting his resources anyway. Instead, use it to steal someone's Orbital Mind Control Lasers, or something equally valuable. The NWO's won't help you directly, but don't hurt you and can really slow down an opponent's plans, especially if they depend on Government or Corporate groups.

The Endgame

When you're ready to win, which could be as early as the third or fourth turn(the earliest that you can eliminate a rival, depending on who went first), you should have, ideally, either The Big Sellout or Seize the Time! in your hand (preferably both) and a plot-canceling card (18 1/2 Minute Gap or Secrets MWNMTK). You should also have The Library at Alexandria in play. The Big Sellout is preferable to Voodoo economics because it doesn't cost an Illuminati token and can put an extra one on your Illuminati as well as the rest of your groups. With the extra tokens from The Big Sellout, you should be able to either control or destroy all your rival Adepts' groups, and get all his resources. Then just control Magic groups from your hand at a +11 until you run out of tokens. If necessary, Seize the Time and try again.

But, what if there aren't any other Adepts player in the game?

First, watch for UFO's: A popular tactic is to play an Adepts deck using the UFO's (for the extra Illuminati token) and Unmask as the Adepts when you're ready to win. In this case, you won't get the resources for destroying your pseudo-rival, but you should still keep him weak, and you should still take his Magic groups away from him once you have The Library at Alexandria out.

If you are the only one playing a Magic deck, don't worry. Just get the Library out quickly, and start taking over an extra Magic group or two every turn. Try to bring out your Secret groups first, and generally play defensively. With luck, your will be viewed as unthreatening, but still hard to attack, and the other players will concentrate on each other until you're ready to win.


What if you don't have all those rare cards? Well, some you can substitute and some you can do without. All of the rare and uncommon groups (Cattle Mutilators, Comic Books, Count Dracula, The Great Pyramid, IRS, Reformed Church of Satan, and Templars) are nice, but not vital. The exception is the Comic Books, which is uncommon, because you need a Media group to play Media Blitz. If you don't have Comic Books, reasonable substitutes are Junk Mail and Tabloids, since many Magic groups are secret.

The Holy Grail is very useful to protect Stonehenge. Two Libraries are very important if the rival Adepts also have one, so you can play forgery to get it back. Xanadu is common.

18 1/2 Minute Gap can be replaced with Hoax or Secrets. The Big Sellout can be replaced with Voodoo Economics. Cover of Darkness and The Weak Link are such a useful combination, keep them in if possible. In fact, if you have more than one of these, include them! The other rare plots, An Offer You Can't Refuse, Cover-Up, Embezzlement, NWO: Energy Crisis, Sabotage, The Stars Are Right, and Unlucky 13 are all very useful, but not vital. Replace them with common plots like Crop Circles, Harmonica Virgins, Hat Tricks, Stealing the Plans, Early Warning, and other defensive cards, or add in your favorite disasters and assassinations.

Deck design by Aaron Curtis.

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